Former CIA Chief of Disguise Breaks Down 30 Spy Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED

  • Published on May 8, 2019
  • Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, takes a look at spy scenes from a variety of television shows and movies and breaks down how accurate they really are.

    To learn more, check out Jonna and Tony Mendez's new book "The Moscow Rules" out now:

    The International Spy Museum located in Washington, D.C. is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to educate the public about the history and impact of espionage and intelligence. The Museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display.
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    Former CIA Chief of Disguise Breaks Down 30 Spy Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED
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Comments • 6 671

  • aspi rine
    aspi rine 6 minutes ago

    She could probably sell me a bridge...

  • NeonGooRoo
    NeonGooRoo 30 minutes ago

    "Ben Affleck played my husband..." 0_0

    PRIYA JAMES 38 minutes ago

    She should have a show.. So powerfull and cool.

  • Emi Kikuno
    Emi Kikuno 46 minutes ago

    "The only way this works is if you believe that you're these people so much that you dream like them" was a great line in Argo, my favorite even. It's also the best advice you can give an actor.

  • Chase CCC420
    Chase CCC420 Hour ago

    why does she keep freeze framing? if this is a conscious editing choice it is an extremely cancerous distracting one

  • Drizzy
    Drizzy Hour ago


  • Tali Vuj
    Tali Vuj Hour ago

    Sorry but if you're talking about quick changes how do you not refer to the elevator scene in The Pink Panther

  • Mimi Myymyy
    Mimi Myymyy Hour ago

    I thought the title was "Former CIA Chief of Disguise Refuses To Break Down 30 Spy Scenes" and I was very confused

  • Diana Woods
    Diana Woods Hour ago

    God she's cool...

  • Aoki Mika
    Aoki Mika Hour ago

    Wait that's a thing?

    I often wear stuff I could quick change when going out because I don't feel compfortable. .
    Didn't know it was a thing..

  • Say HEY if you're GAY
    Say HEY if you're GAY 2 hours ago

    I appreciate this being 20+ minutes... I never wanted it to end!! So interesting.

  • The_ Joker
    The_ Joker 2 hours ago

    “Chief of disguises”. Robert why are you disguised as an old woman?
    She’s some man! 😬

  • ARandomGuy
    ARandomGuy 2 hours ago

    Just let the women talk. The editing is obnoxious.

  • FernNacor
    FernNacor 2 hours ago

    I believe that what Jonna Mendez says at 14:15 is not completely accurate. In Spain, we usually count starting with the index; also, we wouldn't be surprised if we saw a person who counts starting with the thumb xD

  • nhahtrebor91
    nhahtrebor91 3 hours ago

    I thought Supermans glasses were Kriptonian and they actually disguise him?

  • Otaku God
    Otaku God 3 hours ago

    Why is white chicks not here

  • Fenne Verrecas
    Fenne Verrecas 3 hours ago

    She’s calming. I could fall asle

  • Octo kitty Kat
    Octo kitty Kat 3 hours ago

    I use quick change in everyday life when I feel like confusing people

  • Abena  G
    Abena G 4 hours ago

    is she even allowed to say these things lmao

  • Dave Bergamoth
    Dave Bergamoth 4 hours ago

    Wonderful! Now make one with a former chief in project MK ULTRA :)

  • rupreht rupreht
    rupreht rupreht 4 hours ago

    hi there , i seek asylum , i am at Sweden ..Swedish authorities do not consider addition , they cooperate with the russian special services....

  • Alaska Aurora
    Alaska Aurora 4 hours ago

    Can you do a video with her on how to get into secret service? Wether as an agent or in the disguise or planning or whatever department. I guess you can't just do an internship and apply :D How do they recrute people???

  • jaymanxv
    jaymanxv 4 hours ago

    Plot twist: this is really Jonathan Pie.

  • Jack Blades
    Jack Blades 4 hours ago

    500 years ago Keanu Reeves fathered Ben Affleck.

  • Purika
    Purika 5 hours ago

    In my country, we start counting with our pinky.

  • jill •
    jill • 5 hours ago


  • Diego Escalante
    Diego Escalante 5 hours ago

    She looks kinda like a grandma but is badass lol

    OLBICHL 5 hours ago

    XD the old pink panther movie's funny as heck!
    One thing spies learn how to do is lie... I won't be surprised if the lady wasn't totally honest!

  • Beth B
    Beth B 5 hours ago

    She's very charming

  • Kristy Watkins
    Kristy Watkins 5 hours ago

    the movie clip "replies and reactions" to what she was saying was really annoying and disrespectful at times. She is a real quality professional and you have garbage clips of people being sarcastic and annoying around her.

  • Adrian Mei
    Adrian Mei 5 hours ago

    I'm sure at this point nothing fazes her 😂😂😂 Ben Affleck played my husband, who cares

  • Lily Ramirez
    Lily Ramirez 5 hours ago

    Me: I need a makeover I've had the same look for a couple of years
    Me: *one minute later* oh look America's Next Top Model makeovers
    Me: *ten minutes later* Former CIA of Disguise....

  • Thandie Lottering
    Thandie Lottering 6 hours ago


  • Zelda
    Zelda 6 hours ago

    Very interesting 😱😁

  • I like turtles
    I like turtles 6 hours ago

    I found it very annoying that they interuppted her constantly with the movie lines it was very annoying just let the woman talk

  • Cameron McCool
    Cameron McCool 6 hours ago

    I love this series so much. Please give this woman a weekly show

  • Trish Morris
    Trish Morris 6 hours ago

    Stumbled on this... very interesting. Thanks for posting

  • Cherrykye Waters
    Cherrykye Waters 7 hours ago

    She is scary.

  • karina ashmon
    karina ashmon 7 hours ago

    Lets see cia telling secrets. Yeah no dont think so.

  • Blind Bob
    Blind Bob 7 hours ago

    Yep.... she is STILL COVERED by the secrets act........

    She ain't gonna say "yep this is exactly how we run our covert operations.........."

  • Rosa
    Rosa 7 hours ago

    "Priests are so vulnerable."
    I beg to differ ma'am..😂

  • Amy Solifere
    Amy Solifere 8 hours ago

    Alias is bae

  • Ehud Gavron
    Ehud Gavron 8 hours ago

    Kept me mesmerized for the entire thing. Great analysis. Now off to the embassy in my clown costume to blend in with the couch and steal the golden sceptre. Snowy, come!

  • Tobias Ziesmann
    Tobias Ziesmann 8 hours ago

    I would love to just sit with her and listen to stories of her career

  • Tobias Ziesmann
    Tobias Ziesmann 8 hours ago

    That's interesting. When I went to school I once started limping for no real reason and after a few days I had trouble breaking the habit of limping.

  • kjp551
    kjp551 8 hours ago

    Well...I'm only 1 minute in and what I've learned so far is your common criminal is more equipt and proactively prepared than the CIA. Wonders never cease. Smh.

  • Adam W
    Adam W 8 hours ago

    Okay I'll say one thing thats not snarky, Jennifer Garner was smoking hot in that outfit and the red wig back in the Alias days.

  • kingmanic
    kingmanic 8 hours ago

    Her disavowment of hiding as someone doing good is a lie. CIA agents posed as NGO, doctors, aid workers and seriously endanger the lives of people actually doing that job. The CIA is also one of the most inept organizations; known for their massive bungles and huge body counts more than their effectiveness.

  • Shanze Hassan
    Shanze Hassan 8 hours ago

    In the inglorious basterds clip, it wasn’t necessarily the hand gesture that gave him away. It was his mispronunciation of the word “glasse”. He said “glaze-uh” instead of “gl-AH-ss-uh”

  • Adam W
    Adam W 9 hours ago

    Next she'll say no, no the CIA are not world drug traffickers or start wars around the world! Show her a clip of an agent doing something like that and see what she says!

  • Adam W
    Adam W 9 hours ago

    CIA, trained to lie!

  • Kendra Gross
    Kendra Gross 9 hours ago

    Alias is undefeated

  • BrEaKiNg_Brad
    BrEaKiNg_Brad 9 hours ago

    I think she should watch the movies first to really understand why they were making those choices.

  • Sarah Fajardo
    Sarah Fajardo 9 hours ago

    very useful for the current novel I'm writing thanks.

  • Ayanna Monroe
    Ayanna Monroe 10 hours ago

    I just want her to be my mentor in life. She's so nonchalant about about being one of the most interesting women on the planet

  • 0BSERV9R
    0BSERV9R 10 hours ago

    J J Abrams for the win!

  • Techguy
    Techguy 10 hours ago

    Would she be a master of disguise? 🐢 🐢 🐢

  • O G
    O G 11 hours ago

    Oh my

  • Rebel Wolf
    Rebel Wolf 11 hours ago +3

    Jason Bourne was not a spy... he was a Hitman.

  • Alixandria Copeland
    Alixandria Copeland 11 hours ago

    She’s back! My favorite

  • Resting Bird
    Resting Bird 11 hours ago

    Super fun video!

  • Ron Paul Forever
    Ron Paul Forever 11 hours ago

    shes telling these lies to you as she sits there throwing out the illuminati gang sign. priceless

  • E K Daufin
    E K Daufin 12 hours ago

    Fascinating. Excellent film editing too.

  • Robin Lindberg
    Robin Lindberg 12 hours ago

    This was great fun. Thanks for posting.💓

  • Robin Lindberg
    Robin Lindberg 12 hours ago

    No stealing???? My favorite part😮. No, just kidding. Looks like fun to do the quick change in public though.😁😀😘😀Hah!

  • Hugh Nguyen
    Hugh Nguyen 12 hours ago

    How can we be sure that she isn’t in disguise right then?

  • frannyo
    frannyo 12 hours ago

    Break down Killing Eve scenes. Aka Villanelles Scenes!!!!

  • Mama Bleach
    Mama Bleach 12 hours ago

    2:14 star?!

  • BJGvideos
    BJGvideos 12 hours ago

    I feel like a better example with Batman would be the OTHER identity he takes on, Matches Malone.
    And with Superman, it isn't about the glasses. It's about his entire demeanor changing. Everyone could know that he looks exactly like Superman but would laugh off any suggestion that boring ol' Clark could possibly be the same person.

  • Deplorable Me
    Deplorable Me 13 hours ago

    14:28 oh, so the british are not European now? Great Intel there, CIA, keep it up

  • Ginger Blue
    Ginger Blue 13 hours ago

    What if She is in a DISGUISE

  • S L
    S L 13 hours ago

    You can't do a good disguise on movie tv because of time and audience. Why hire an actor/actress if the audience can't recognize them...?

  • Super Battle Droid
    Super Battle Droid 14 hours ago

    Wired editing is just so awful

  • Hallmans
    Hallmans 14 hours ago

    This is really cool but also scary because they're telling us all this, but it's nearly impossible to notice this stuff in real life

  • Pvris Suicide
    Pvris Suicide 14 hours ago

    how is D.E.B.S not here??

  • Erin Smith
    Erin Smith 14 hours ago

    Ironic the scene of Tom Cruise as a priest. He was raised Catholic and considered it as a vocation.

  • TheBrothergreen
    TheBrothergreen 16 hours ago +1

    "We don't use the media as a disguise"
    "Well, my husband used the media for a disguise, and they made it into a movie... "

  • Al
    Al 16 hours ago

    Did not expect to hear that Tony Mendez was based on her husband. That was cool.
    I was amused to note that some things I already knew were right, but crucially can be boiled down to: If you don't act like you are trying to be inconspicuous, no-one will notice or care if you aren't.

  • X Diamandis
    X Diamandis 16 hours ago

    She needs her own channel or something

  • Bullveigh25
    Bullveigh25 17 hours ago

    yea, the CIA wont use those identities until its the easiest way to get where youre going, then its acceptable.

  • Leslie Meeks
    Leslie Meeks 17 hours ago +3

    Fascinating!!! Thank you!!

  • Jordan Kintner
    Jordan Kintner 17 hours ago

    That editing with tom cruise was so perfect lol.

  • Brie Bernier
    Brie Bernier 17 hours ago +49

    "Ben Affleck played my husband" that is crazy, she said it so casually

  • Adam Campbell
    Adam Campbell 17 hours ago


  • Additional Pylons
    Additional Pylons 18 hours ago

    'We don't use media as cover, we just use them to do our biding."

  • Teddy Pup
    Teddy Pup 18 hours ago

    Very interesting. Thank you for your service.

  • Alex Lavrov
    Alex Lavrov 18 hours ago

    "priests are so vulnerable". hahaha

  • uafc1
    uafc1 18 hours ago

    Proof that Alias was a badass show

  • Ralph Sperry
    Ralph Sperry 18 hours ago

    This woman is an absolute mad gal

  • omnidiscord
    omnidiscord 18 hours ago

    12:36 "what if i said we had it?" she is amazing lmao

  • Kat 1234
    Kat 1234 19 hours ago

    i love her, i mean she's not giving away too much, but still manages to talk about it in a really engaging way

  • Drew DePalma
    Drew DePalma 19 hours ago

    The editing in these videos is so distracting, makes them so hard to watch

  • tackyman2011
    tackyman2011 19 hours ago


  • Pól Réamonn
    Pól Réamonn 19 hours ago

    Great video.

  • goofglu
    goofglu 19 hours ago

    I love Jonna Mendez. I would love to watch her judge episodes of Face/Off.

  • Pól Réamonn
    Pól Réamonn 19 hours ago

    Priests are vulnerable? A few altar boys would beg to differ.

  • byobob
    byobob 19 hours ago


  • Jason Reliford
    Jason Reliford 19 hours ago

    Release the images of Trump getting peed on and I will like and subscribe.

  • SerenityGamesToo
    SerenityGamesToo 19 hours ago

    I have watched a lot of videos since TheXvid got it's start back in 2005, but this one has been THE most interesting one I've ever watched. PLEASE bring her back!

  • Elaine Brundage
    Elaine Brundage 20 hours ago

    We don't use the media as cover. Uh, huh.

    • Elaine Brundage
      Elaine Brundage 20 hours ago

      "surveillance isn't following her face" Uh, huh.